We caught up with Maztek to discuss Warpath his latest LP released on 0101 Music

Do you generally plan studio sessions in advance and do you set goals for yourself to complete tracks?

I do tend to make a plan but sometimes when I have a break I can also produce some of the best music

But we all have times that lead to us to not having the inspiration to get things done

Inspiration can return when you take some time out to do other things

Then once I’m feeling inspired I can spend up to 72 hours non stop

But if I push myself and I am not inspired it is hard to come up with something that sounds good

Deadlines are good for me, once I’ve got the creative part completed I can move onto the mix.

When you start tracks do you have a good idea in mind of how the finished track will sound? And if so do the finished tracks often end up as intended or do they evolve into something else?

A lot of the time the original idea bores me and then they evolve into something completely different

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Do you finish all the tracks that you start and has the ratio of ideas that you start out to finished tracks changed since you started producing?

Not always, I might leave the project there and start something new, in this album there is a track I started 7 years ago with aeph of course re-made from scratch.
When I first started making music it was easier to be happy with the tunes I’d created
But with time your skills improve and standards are higher not to mention the change in the music industry as well

Do you reference other tracks a lot and do you go back to tracks and make changes over time having tested them when DJ’ing?

I don’t tend to use other tracks as reference because every single tune of the album is different and started from a new project, some are more “acoustic” and some more electronic
And yes I do fix the tunes after listening and playing them in clubs
I like them loud but I like not to clip the whole dynamic
This is the only reference I try to follow

How do you approach getting loud mix downs without sacrificing the sound quality? Are there any particular plugins or techniques you commonly use?

Dynamic side chain and EQ
The more you allow room for frequencies the louder you can have them
Many producers cut the mids around 130/140 Hz
And leave room for the sub and kick
I like to have the bass sound also around 80 Hz and that makes mix downs a bit more complex
because you have to cut here and there as to not have some of the frequencies clash
I use Melda production multi-analyser & Melda Mdynamic EQ as well as fab filter pro M a lot to do this.

Regarding dynamic side-chaining, is that using the kick and snare as triggers to make room in your mix in sounds that share the same space like bass/mids/synths?

Kick for sure if the snare is very small you don’t really need that
But for the groove and working with male vocals sometimes you have to do a lot of work on the snare too

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When you hear music by new artists, what aspects of the mix downs do you think people commonly getting wrong when starting out? Also, what advice would you give to new artists to get a polished sounding mix down?

It depends on the approach, sometimes in terms of loudness I can say they are perfect for clubs because lately louder means better but when I am at home I could skip some of those tunes.

Everyone is attracted to loudness and that’s OK but I would suggest a balance between loudness and dynamic and to not forget the vibes
If the level is very high I don’t think people are getting it wrong the one’s who are getting it wrong probably just need to change monitors or headphones
It is not so hard to have a great sound though but it’s certainly harder to be original

What synths did you use the most on your album?

  • Virus
  • Serum
  • FM8
  • Kontakt for sound design
  • Some really basic cubase synths
  • Also a little bit of minibrute (super processed)

for the drums mostly:

  • Addictive Drums
  • EZ Drummer (Layered with serum sometimes)
    And “clean” on some other tunes
    There is a track i made with MC Mota called “The Breaker” on the album which sounds like someone is playing it live

What was the inspiration for starting your own and where you like it to progress to?

I started my label because after many years I finally feel free again to do things on my own and not try to fit other label’s sounds.
When you feel free the music and fun comes in a genuine way which I love.
This album is not very ‘tech’ I went more into my roots: hip hop reggae and funk.
But I have new EP’s in the pipeline for the label that are a bit more ‘tech’.
I love this work because it’s the result of 3 years of evolution/devolution.
I made 2 jungle tunes and I’ve never made jungle music before.
It is a mix between the actual neurofunk vibes and the vibes from older tunes.

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